For some reason this week several media outlets began reporting that after 53 years on the air Don Francisco was ready to step down from his signature show on Univision, Sábado Gigante. The media outlets in question cited an interview with the iconic Chilean TV personality Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld (a.k.a. Don Francisco) in which he supposedly stated he wanted to rest and “spend the last years of his life enjoying his family.”
At 74, however, Univision reports Don Francisco is still going stronger than ever. In fact they’ve outright denied any of these speculations are true at all. Sea lo que sea, it did raise the question “what would the landscape of Hispanic broadcast media be without Don Francisco?”
Sure, the likes of similar big name celebrity talk show hosts like Cristina and Oprah have stepped down from their own small screen empires, but Don Francisco is an institution! He’s as much Univision as the giant U.S. network is a part of millions of Latino homes across the nation. And very likely he would be impossible to replace.
So what would U.S. viewers do without Sábado Gigante?
What would Univision do without their longest running show for that matter?
It’s a brand new day folks, and if and when Don Francisco does decide to step down, it’s going to be anyone’s game in this Spanish-language television ratings war.
For Univision’s sake, let’s hope their communications team is right.